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Stroke victim rescued by Tenn. National Guard aircrew in Smokies

This rescue was the first mission conducted by the Tennessee National Guard this year.
Clingmans Dome Observation Tower. Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Clingmans Dome Observation Tower. Great Smoky Mountains National Park(WVLT)
Published: Apr. 16, 2021 at 11:07 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - The Tennessee National Guard medical flight crew rescued a stroke victim from the Great Smoky Mountain National Park area Thursday morning.

According to a release from the National Guard, the Tennessee Military Department and Tennessee Emergency Management Agency responded to an alert of a possible stroke victim near Clingmans Dome along the Appalachian Trail around 9 a.m. Thursday. An air crew responded to the patient needing immediate care around 9:40 a.m. in a A UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter from the Tennessee National Guard’s Detachment1, Company C, 1-171st Aviation Regiment.

“At 10:18 a.m., the aircraft arrived on the scene, and the flight crew began rescue hoist operations. Ross and Banta lowered to the patient and performed brief medical assessment; the patient was then mobilized onto a litter and hoisted safely into the helicopter,” the release read.

The flight crew continued medical aid on the patient while en route to the University of Tennessee Medical Center.

“The administrative portion of the pre-launch process was flawless,” said Col. Jay Deason, the State Army Aviation Officer. “The flight crew immediately jumped into action and began preparing for the mission; everyone was in sync, and that’s the primary indicator that we have a very streamlined process,” the release said.

This rescue was the first mission conducted by the Tennessee National Guard this year.

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